Dr. Kris Gast was the guest speaker at the Zonta Club of Fort Smith February member meeting. Dr. Gast spoke about the history of cancer. During her talk, children took stage, dressed in costume representing the time period. It was very entertaining and educational and Dr. Gast stayed afterward to answer many questions from the club members. Thank you to our actors, Hayden, Jaclyn, Sydney,Megan, Hannah, and Katie!
Ashley Beck:Fort Smith Radiation Oncology is the only local owned and operated radiation cancer treatment facility in the River Valley. Here to give us some tips on what
you can do to prevent cancer, Dr. Kris Gast joining us this morning. Thank you for being here. February, a very important month when we’re talking about cancer. Tell us more about that.
Dr. Kris Gast: February is actually cancer prevention month and I think we kind of forget about that, you know October is breast cancer month but February is cancer
prevention month so I thought that we could just wrap up the month by reviewing some of the different ways that your viewers can try and decrease the risk of getting cancer.
Ashley Beck: This is going to be a very important topic that we have the next few minutes to talk about. First thing we wanted to touch on is someone who has already survived cancer, what they can do with their treatments to prevent it from coming back.
Dr. Kris Gast: Right, well basically those patients really can do the same things that you and I can do. Maintain a healthy weight, which basically means eating a healthy
diet. Cancer wise, not to get into too many specific details, but that basically means less fat and less calories.
Ashley Beck: Ok
Dr. Kris Gast: So dietary restrictions in that respect. That’s always very hard for everyone.
Ashley Beck: It certainly is right? So hard, ok. That’s a very important factor, very important.
Dr. Kris Gast: The other thing that goes along with the dietary intake is the alcohol. You know we do have some recommendations from the cardiac arena if you will that a
small glass of dry red wine is extremely good for a cardiac status but we really have to limit the alcohol intake. Alcohol is a very potent toxin in terms of causing cancer. That’s kind of the three dietary things. Along with that exercise. Exercise has been shown to descrease risk of a certain number of cancers. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, so that’s also very important. While you’re out excersizing we also want to be aware of the sun exposure. A lot of my elderly patients already have skin cancer. Their exposure came at a time when we didn’t know of the link between skin cancer and sun exposure. But it’s basically take care of your skin now that we know.
Ashley Beck: So all these tips are things that you can do, you can start doing right now, it’s not going to cost you any money and of course we can help prevent cancer in
the long run.
Dr. Kris Gast: And there’s one thing that you can do that will actually make you money or save you money and that’s stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
Ashley Beck: Which leads us to the next thing we wanted to talk about because we know that it really plays a role in cancers.
Dr. Kris Gast: Yes, smoking, tobacco, either chewing or smoking are linked with so many cancers that, there’s just, if we could eliminate that from our lifestyle, I would
be out of business and I would be so happy.
Ashley Beck: That would be a definite big cure, something you can prevent and like you said save yourself some money as well. We talked about how important it is to eat right and to get outside to exercise, to wear your sunscreen while you’re doing all of this. So how does healthy weight and staying active, in terms of numbers, lower a
persons risk for cancer.
Dr. Kris Gast: Well, if you think about the, the different cancers that are linked to those factors, I mean you’re talking about your very top, you know, cancers, breast
cancer, prostate, colon. You’re top three or four cancers are linked with these behaviors, so it’s going to dramatically decrease. And of course, lung cancer is so tied with smoking. The head and neck cancers which are cancers of the oral cavity and the mouth and throat, extremely linked with chewing tobacco and smoking and alcohol. You know, all those would be just dramatically reduced.
Ashley Beck: That would be so wonderful.
Dr. Kris Gast: Yes
Ashley Beck: You know, things you can do yourself. There is another we wanted to touch on, STD’s and these infectious diseases, how they lead to cancer as well.
Dr. Kris Gast: Right, and these are kind of newer things, that I think that the public are just becoming more aware of. Hepititas B is linked with liver cancer and there is a vaccine for that now. And of course HPV which is the human paploma virus is now linked with several different types of HPV or linked with cervical cancer and there are vaccines for those. And those are all basically tied with having safe sex. And AIDS of course has a link with safe sex, and AIDS patients are much more susceptible to different types of cancers.
Ashley Beck: It’s a scary thing. We know early detection, so important. Reiterate why early detection is so important.
Dr. Kris Gast: Well, just remember that early detection, you find it earlier, you have a much higher rate of cure. And that’s the whole name of the game with cancer. So, find
it early, incorporate the early detection as part of your prevention plan, keep up with your mammograms, your PSA, colonoscopy, you know, your skin checks, and you’ll be on top of it.
Ashley Beck: Well then, February being prevention month for cancer as Dr. Kris Gast is saying, eat right, excersize, you know, do all those things, take care of yourself. And if you are in a position where you are dealing with this, or your loved one, they are there to help you out.
Ashley Beck: 8500 South 36th Terrace in Fort Smith is where you’ll find Dr. Gast and her team at Radiation Oncology, you can also give them a call, they’re phone number is
648-1800 or logon to fsro.net, which stands for Fort Smith Radiation Oncology.
Ashley Beck: Thank you for being here. We always are so informed and of course right now we also wanted to put this information up where you can email as well. If you have any questions, Dr. Gast is more than happy to help you, so there’s the email address and I’ll give you a second if you’ve got a pen handy to write it down. Or you can also write those questions in, it’s a PO Box 5710 in Fort Smith, the zip code is 72913.
Ashley Beck: Thanks for being here, thanks for answering the questions and we hope to see you very soon.
Dr. Kris Gast: Thank you, it’s always a pleasure to be here. I’ll see you next month.
Ashley Beck: You are waking up with 5 Sunday Morning, we’ll take a break, we’ll see you right after it.